How to create your dream ice cream
The tips below will help you create the perfect ice cream sundae, enjoy yourself or set up an ice cream sundae bar for the crowd. And if you’ve been inspired to make ice cream, sauces or toppings yourself, I’ve included a few recipes.
Standard Sunday Glass is classic for a reason. Tall, not too wide serving dishes are great for building layers of flavor and texture – essential for a good sundae. If you don’t have these particular dishes, you can build your sundae on the high side in a drinking glass, mug or bowl for the same effect. Keep the dishes in the freezer for at least an hour before serving to help cool the heat, so that the ice cream doesn’t thaw quickly.
For personal service, two to three tablespoons of ice cream is all you need. Vanilla and chocolate are always good choices, but any flavor of creamy frozen dessert can be used. And you don’t need to stick to just one flavor – don’t hesitate to mix and match any flavors that are good for you. Maybe chocolate and coffee, or strawberries and pistachios? That is the only limitation of your imagination, but I keep it to the maximum of two different flavors, so there isn’t much competition.
Likewise, while I love ice creams with mix-ins, I am careful about using one with a ton of added ingredients when building a sundae. Once you add the sauces, toppings and finishing touches, you don’t want too much going on in the finished product. Here are some ice cream recipes to get you started:
Vanilla Ice Cream. The highlight of this recipe is goat’s milk, which gives this custard-based ice cream a luxurious creamy texture and a little tang.
S’mores Ice Cream. Grilled Graham Cracker Pieces and Marshmallow Fluff Chocolate Ice Cream Channel Folded Campfire Classic In this recipe. When using in a sundae, add grilled marshmallow on top for a nice finishing touch.
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Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. Mint and chocolate are a classic combination. You can reinforce pairing in a sundae with powdered Thin Mints, Chopped Andes Chocolate Mints or York Peppermint Patties.
Think outside the box with these creative ice cream recipes
This is not a sundae without sauce. Like ice cream, limit yourself to one, maybe two sauces so the flavor doesn’t get too muddy. While building, put a little sauce between the scoops of ice cream – and even the bottom of the glass – for better delivery.
Dark chocolate syrup. Yes, a sprinkling of hot fudge sauce is classic. But if you are going to do it yourself, this dark chocolate syrup is more versatile in how it can be used.
The 2-unit chocolate shell is an easy way to update your ice cream
Go-to Salted Caramel Sauce. Unlike the personalities, the caramel sauce improves with a little bitterness. If you want a sweet, soft sauce, don’t let the sugar turn too brown.
Watch: How to make caramel sauce
Strawberry Sauce. This recipe calls for frozen fruit, which means you can make sprinkles on sundaes, cakes, french toast and more at any time of the year.
The toppings certainly bring flavor – don’t forget about the salty and savory items – I’m more excited about the textures they can introduce to the sundae. Here are some to consider:
- Crunchy: Grilled nuts, granola, chopped candy bars, crushed pretzels, cookie sticks, potato chips, bacon
- Chevy: Brownies, dried fruits, gummy candies, shredded coconut
- Fluffy Whipped cream, creme fraiche, marshmallow fluff, yogurt
- Juicy: Various fruits and berries
The Ultimate Brownies. If brownie sundaes are your thing, a good brownie made from scratch is the way to go. These are thick, moist and chocolatey.
Maple spice glazed seeds. The seeds have a warm kick to the cinnamon and cayenne, and they add a nice crunch to any sundae.
How to toast the seeds on the stove, in the oven or in the microwave
Crunchy nut and seed clusters. Although the recipe is marketed for crunching salads, these nut and seed groups are equally at home on some ice creams.
The Air Fryer Granola with Chocolate and Chile is our crunchy ideal
Unlike Coco Chanel telling you to remove an ingredient before you leave the house, when it comes to ice cream sundaes, the last piece of flair – be it sprinkles, chocolate shavings, fresh herbs and / or a piece of fruit – can be (literally) cherry-picked from the best. So when I encourage restraint, don’t be afraid to finish with a shout.